My second Christmas afghan is off the loom. Once I solved the mystery of why my twill zig zags weren't centered in the stripes of color, I immediately began planning the next project.
I did a lot of thinking while I wove the first afghan, and actually planned two, one based on my observations about the warp threading in regards to the zig zags, and one based on the comments from Ruby. From the detail on the left, you can see that the first of these two has been successful. To get this effect, I had to expand the color stripes to 10 warp ends, putting the first thread of blue on shaft 6, and the last one on shaft 7. My threading is a straight 1 through 8 and repeat.
I chose (hopefully) masculine colors for this afghan. The brown is actually darker than the photos. It is interesting to me that the surface of the weaving seems very textured, while the underside was smooth and flat while on the loom. However, the two sides pretty much evened out texture-wise, after the afghan was washed and dried.
The blue stripes are spaced in an approximate Fibonacci sequence. Since I had to start and end the blue yarn on specific shafts, I didn't worry about getting the exact number of brown ends for the Fib count. The yarn is Red Heart knitting worsted, with a sett is 8 ends per inch. I have 354 ends.
Once I got over the excitement of seeing my design success, I have to admit that the weaving got boring pretty quickly. Brown is not one of my favorite colors, and with no color or design changes to entertain my eyes, I lost interest in the project pretty quickly. That in itself motivated me, as I wanted to get it off the loom quickly so I can get on to the next one.
However! I am very pleased to report that I had very good tension, no warp ends were skipped, the fell was straight, and best of all are the selvedges. They are the best I've ever woven, beautifully straight and even. These are things I've struggled with for over seven years, sometimes to the point of feeling defeated enough by them to think about giving up weaving. I am overjoyed that these problems were finally overcome with my third project on this loom. I don't know how well weaving the next afghan will go, but at least I know that I can do it.
The photo of the finished afghan below is closer to its "real" colors.
As you can see, I simply knotted the fringe to finish it off.
I have to say that I am impressed how nicely the Red Heart yarn softens with machine washing and drying. I have used it quite a bit for weaving, which is actually rather odd for me to do, as I am really quite a fiber purist. Most of my own clothing is all natural fibers (except for a few cotton/poly blend tee shirts), as are the things I make for myself or around the house. I would absolutely never knit or crochet a garment with Red Heart. But for weaving, I have found it an inexpensive way to experiment with color, especially since I make a lot of mistakes and have had quite a few design disasters. So if a project is a flop, acrylic yarns seem to cut my losses, especially considering that I have more time than money.
Another thing I find, is that by using an acrylic yarns I feel freer to give my handwovens away. I've often given one of my log cabin scarves as a thank you gift. Perhaps because acrylic is a good choice for recipients who may not understand natural fibers, or who prefer the easy-care of being able to toss it into the washer and dryer.
Well, enough rambling. I'm off to work out the details for Christmas afghan number three.